Body Language and the Role It Plays in Your Collegiate Success | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Body Language and Its Role in Your Collegiate Success

November 4, 2012 | Jude Patrick Massillon

Talented high school athletes are overlooked during the collegiate interview process, but why? Body language plays a major role in the success of your meetings with potential coaches. You've worked hard for many years, and now is your time to show that you belong, can compete and are willing to work hard. (Study up: College Athletics Recruiting 101.)

There are several keys to marketing yourself so that college coaches will have a positive opinion of you. Apply them properly and your chances of playing a collegiate sport will dramatically increase. Don't let little things deter you from realizing your dream of becoming a collegiate student-athlete.

Essentially, your first meeting with a coach is a job interview followed by an opportunity to negotiate a deal. You need to make sure you show the coach that you mean business, you're passionate and are of like mind.

First impressions happen within a tenth of a second and are based on a cluster of cues and behaviors. So what should you convey through your body language when making a first impression?

  • Dress. Make sure your tie is straight, your shirt is tucked in and there is no food in your teeth.
  • Communication. Experts say 55 percent of communication is non-verbal. When you do speak, use a confident, authoritative and positive tone of voice. But you must also communicate with non-verbal cues. Sit up straight, square your shoulders and make your facial expression convey alertness and enthusiasm.
  • Eye Contact. Maintain eye contact at least 70 percent of the time. This shows respect.
  • Handshake. There are three types of handshakes. The "fish" is too soft and shows apathy. The "macho" is too hard and bold. The "firm" is in between the two and just right for your purposes.
  • Smile. Simply smile in a non-flirtatious way, devoid of suggestion.

Dr. O'Connor, a body language expert, suggests arriving early and walking around the building or parking lot a few times until you feel relaxed. This will give you the opportunity to focus, prepare to show interest, and go over your game plan.

What must you do to show interest?

Dr. O'Connor suggests the following:

  • No Displacement. Don't play with your glasses, ring, necklace or (especially!) your phone. Keep that turned off and in your pocket or bag. It should not be visible. This shows complete respect for the time the coach is giving you as well as respect for yourself and your goals.
  • No Fidgeting. Don't move around in your seat or touch your face or hair repeatedly. It's best to sit with your hands in your lap and present good posture. Slouching never conveys  a good impression.
  • Positioning. When seated, line yourself up torso to torso with the coach. Another key is to fold your legs in the same position as the coach, when appropriate. This shows congruence, essentially that you're on the same page.
  • Questioning. Ask questions on your walk-through with a student or the coach. Do not get distracted by anyone's attractiveness. You are here for a business meeting.
  • Head Cant. Use good posture and keep your neck long but with a slight tilt of the head. This shows interest and attentiveness. A little nod of agreement when appropriate never hurts.

What happens if the meeting is going wrong?

Find something to break the cycle. For instance:

  • Ask to use the bathroom; even say you're feeling sick if you have to. Think of it as a turnover, and take the opportunity to change the game.
  • Pick up a football or other inanimate object from coach's desk. Ask him if it's OK first.

Must See
Dashon Goldson: "You Just Gotta Have Heart"
Views: 2,956,813
Antonio Brown Juggles 3 Footballs
Views: 1,167,357
Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 33,808,243

Featured Videos

James Harden on Becoming a Franchise Player Views: 72,546
Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Views: 28,813
Blake Griffin Interview and Cover Shoot Views: 574,257
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,902,816
Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,359,811
Colby Lewis's Four-Seam Fastball Technique
Views: 5,011,383
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 7,834,380
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,902,816

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Home Field Advantage Is Real, Says Science

5 Steps to Changing a Bad Habit

Don't Take Your Headphones to the Gym

5 Tips for Playing Mentally Tough Tennis

4 Obstacles to Better Goal Setting

5 Tips to Becoming a Successful Athlete

Build Mental Toughness in the Weight Room

How Mental Performance Affects Your Workouts

6 Ideas to Build a More Cohesive Team

Regain Your Confidence by Getting BIG

4 Tips for Building Confidence

Get Tough on Your Goals to Get Fit

5 Steps to Becoming a Better Coach

How Clayton Kershaw Gets in the Zone

The Art of Strength and Conditioning Coaching

The Holistic Approach to Impactful Sports Coaching

Overcome Your Fear of Failure

4 Reasons Your Team Is Losing

Visualize Yourself Winning, and You're Halfway There

How Mental Flexibility Boosts Your Game

How to Improve Mental Focus on the Baseball Diamond

How Mentally Tough Are You?

6 Ways Sport Parents Are Doing It Wrong

Mental Warm-Up: How to Build Confidence Before a Game

A Coach Describes What It

What's Your Backup Plan When 'Plan A' Fails?

Make Goals, Not Deals

Does Home Field Actually Confer an Advantage?

3 Ways to Develop Your Football Warrior Mentality

Tips to Be a Better Leader

Stress Exposure Training for Basketball

Use Sports Psychology Against Your Opponents

How Nik Wallenda Prepared to Walk Across the Grand Canyon

The One Word You Should Never Say to Yourself

Study: Athletes Think Faster, More Accurately Than Non-Athletes

Positive Affirmations for Athletes

Why You Should Be Training Instead of Exercising

Why Athletes Must Focus on Developing Their Own Identity

Overcome the 5 Most Common Mental Mistakes in Sports

Growth Mindset: How to Think Like a Champion

How to 'Keep Your Cool' on the Football Field

Can a Faster Brain Increase Sports Performance?